Our history

In the mid-1990s, a group of men from western North Carolina began dreaming about establishing a church in Hickory, North Carolina,

Through the early 2000s, under the shepherding of Pastor Ray, God continued to amaze Grace Covenant. The church grew in numbers; but, more importantly, she grew spiritually. People were introduced to Jesus, and lives were changed. Men who were lost, were found by God, and some even became deacons and elders! Pastor Ray served Grace Covenant faithfully until his eventual retirement in 2012. He had shepherded the congregation over its first 17 years in existence.
In 2013, Reverend Mike Gordon accepted the call to be Grace Covenant’s second pastor, a position in which he continues to serve faithfully and joyfully to this day. Rev. Gordon (affectionately known as Pastor Mike) has a love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and truly desires to move Grace Covenant forward under God’s direction. Here at Grace Covenant, we want to carry on as we began, by making God's name great in Hickory, in our region, and in the world!

within the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) denomination. To assist with this effort, Reverend George Norris from Boone, North Carolina, began leading a small group of local dedicated families in study and prayer. This core group of families from Hickory rallied around the words found in Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians 2:7. They desired to be “…rooted and built up in Him [Jesus], and established in the faith...". About a year after Rev. Norris began the work, God called another man, Reverend Ray Kruntorad, to move to Hickory and to serve as the founding pastor of this mission church. In October 1995, Rev. Kruntorad (affectionately known as Pastor Ray) officially became the organizing pastor of Grace Covenant Church.
On November 5, 1995, the first worship service of the new church was held. In those days, Grace Covenant did not have a building or property of its own, and its members worshiped at Viewmont Elementary School. It was a great season for Grace Covenant. Men and women were drawn to Jesus and lives were changed! God continued to bless the work of this local church, and many were filled with excitement and enthusiasm for what God was doing. In November 1997, Grace Covenant became an official member church of the PCA denomination.

In 1999, the elders of Grace Covenant began dreaming about having a building of their own in which to worship. God provided 25 acres of land located on North Center Street; and, on January 2, 2000, Grace Covenant ushered in the new millennium with a ground-breaking ceremony on the construction of a sanctuary and associated classrooms. On November 19, 2000, Grace Covenant held its first worship service in the new facility, and the congregation continues to worship in that same facility to this day.

If you notice our sign by the road, you will see that our official name is Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in America. We have happily added our denominational affiliation to our name. Why did we do this?

There are many churches in the United States (and around the world) that have the word presbyterian in their official church name. At its most basic level, this word refers to the system of government that we adopt within the church. Presbyterian churches are each governed by a representative body of elders known as The Session, who are elected to their office by the congregation. The teaching pastor of the church is only one of several elders, each of which has an equal vote in the decision-making for the church. Additionally, presbyterian churches find their roots in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. Many of them trace their origins to the Church of Scotland.
However, there are also many doctrinal differences between the various forms of Presbyterianism in existence today. You should not assume that all presbyterian churches share the same general beliefs, as they may differ radically on important tenets of the Christian faith. In fact, differences in doctrinal belief are what led to the formation of the PCA denomination.
In the 1970s, many people within a different denomination of Presbyterianism came to the realization that some of their denominational churches were simply not adhering to long-held Biblical truths. Pastors were denying the virgin birth, the inerrancy of the Bible, and the inspiration of the Bible. Sadly, churches within their denomination were slipping away from the foundational tenants of the faith. So, in 1973, after much prayer and many tears, many broke away from the original denomination to form a new one, what we know today as the Presbyterian Church in America.

Since then, the PCA has expanded and grown greatly! There are some 3000 churches who carry this name with over 600 missionaries serving in over 60 nations of God’s world. It is not a perfect denomination, but it is a great one that upholds and loves the gospel of free grace! The PCA centers itself around the authority of Scripture and a commitment to Reformed theology. Among other things, Reformed theology affirms man’s depravity apart from Christ, God’s sovereignty in saving sinners through the finished and complete work of Christ, and the Christian’s future hope because of Christ’s victory on the cross. At Grace Covenant, we are grateful to be a member church of this denomination that stands firmly upon the Word of God!

You can read more about the history and specific doctrinal positions of the PCA at the following website: https://pcanet.org/.

Our history

What does it mean to be a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)?

read here

Many churches believe in the Bible as God’s infallible word; however, because of differing interpretations, those churches often have disagreements on the distinctives amongst the various traditions. These distinctives are not vital to salvation. In contrast, it is our hope that evangelical, Bible-believing churches would agree on several core beliefs of the faith. Grace Covenant Church, and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) share both these distinctives and core beliefs. We would love to share our lives together with you as we mine the depths of these truths in applied living. While Grace Covenant Church and the PCA believe wholeheartedly in deep, rich, Biblically-centric, and historically-faithful doctrine, we believe that the Holy Spirit brings life to dead hearts through a simple salvation message of repentance and belief in the saving work of Jesus Christ.

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What We Believe